Low libido cure: How one injection can transform sex drive
Scientists from Imperial College London claim that a hormone called kisspeptin can help men and women who feel stressed because of low libido.
Many people who experience low sex drive believe that it is mainly due to tiredness from work or tension. However, if the problem persists, a person may suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). About eight percent of men and 10 percent of women on Earth have HSDD.
Unfortunately, most people are not even aware they have HSDD. Plus, both men and women shy away from admitting or sharing such problems. This puts a lot of stress on their minds, and it further affects their mental health and love life.
Explaining this in detail, one of the senior study authors and a faculty of Medicine at Imperial, Dr. Alexander Comninos, said, “Low sexual desire can be distressing and so result in HSDD. This can have a major detrimental impact on relationships, mental health, and fertility. Even though it is relatively common, treatment options in women are limited, carry significant side effects, and in some cases can be harmful to even try.”
He further added, “In men, there are currently no licensed treatments and none on the horizon. Therefore, there is a real unmet need to find new, safer, and more effective therapies for this distressing condition for both women and men seeking treatment.”
Kisspeptin’s role in the human body
Kisspeptin hormone is naturally found in the human body, where it regulates the release of sex hormones and ensures normal reproductive functions. It plays a vital role in the onset of puberty in both males and females. Furthermore, the researchers claim this hormone can also boost sexual pathways in the brain which decides the sex drive in humans.
“Kisspeptin can serve to increase feelings of romantic love and reward processing in the posterior cingulate cortex, thereby reducing sexual aversion in women with HSDD. Our study shows that kisspeptin can boost brain activity related to attraction, and intriguingly this boosting effect is even greater in men with a low sexual quality of life,” the authors note in their previous studies.
To investigate the effect of kisspeptin, the authors conducted two experiments with separate groups. The first study involved 32 pre-menopausal heterosexual women (aged between 19 to 48 years), and the second had 32 heterosexual men (aged 21 to 52 years). Subjects in both studies had to complete a questionnaire twice during the experiment; once when they were injected with kisspeptin and again when they were on a placebo administration.
Under kisspeptin and placebo administration, subjects in both experiments had to watch erotic videos and some non-erotic content. Meanwhile, The researchers mapped the brain activity of their subjects using MRI.
During the experiments, it was not revealed to the participants which infusion (the hormone or placebo) they were receiving.
Can kisspeptin really help people with low libido?
At the end of the first experiment, which involved 32 women with HSDD, the participants admitted to experiencing an improvement in their sex drive. Some subjects found themselves “more sexy” when they used kisspeptin. Their MRIs also revealed enhanced sexual pathways in their brain after kisspeptin administration.
The hormone boosted the activity in the hippocampus region of the female subjects. This part of the brain is mainly associated with sexual desire in women. No such changes were noticed during the placebo administration.
Interestingly, the researchers found similar results in the second study as well. Kisspeptin made the male participants feel good about their sexuality. They also reported experiencing an increase in the rigidity of their penis by up to 56 percent due to kisspeptin.
Moreover, the brain maps showed increased brain activity in regions related to sexual behavior when subjects were administered the hormone. However, this was not the case when they were on a placebo.
These findings clearly indicate that kisspeptin has the potential to help people facing the ill effects of HSDD. According to Dr. Comninos, no side effects were observed in the women and men who participated in the study.
“Collectively, the results suggest that kisspeptin may offer a safe and much-needed treatment for HSDD that affects millions of people around the world and we look forward to taking this forward in future larger studies and in other patient groups,” said Waljit Dhillo, co-senior author and a professor of endocrinology at Imperial College.
Studies conducted on female and male subjects are published in the JAMA Network.
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